BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    SB 1324


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          Date of Hearing:  June 14, 2016


          Counsel:               David Billingsley








                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY


                       Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., Chair





          SB  
          1324 (Hancock) - As Amended March 28, 2016





          SUMMARY:  Finds and declares that the purposes of imprisonment  
          for crime include rehabilitation.   Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Finds and declares that the purposes of imprisonment for crime  
            include rehabilitation, in addition to punishment.

          2)Finds and declares that these purposes are best served by  
            terms proportionate to the seriousness of the offense with  
            provision for uniformity in the sentences of offenders  
            committing the same offense under similar circumstances, and a  
            correctional treatment program designed to address the  








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            particular criminogenic needs of offenders. 

          3)States that the mission of the Department of Corrections and  
            Rehabilitation (CDCR) is to promote public safety by providing  
            a safe and constructive prison environment that fosters  
            positive and enduring behavioral change among offenders, both  
            in prison and after their return to the community. 



          EXISTING LAW:  



          1)Finds and declares that the purpose of imprisonment for crime  
            is punishment. (Pen. Code 1170, subd. (a)(1).)

          2)Finds and declares that this purpose is best served by terms  
            proportionate to the seriousness of the offense with provision  
            for uniformity in the sentences of offenders committing the  
            same offense under similar circumstances. (Pen. Code 1170,  
            subd. (a)(1).)

          3)Finds and declares that the elimination of disparity and the  
            provision of uniformity of sentences can best be achieved by  
            determinate sentences fixed by statute in proportion to the  
            seriousness of the offense as determined by the Legislature to  
            be imposed by the court with specified discretion. (Pen. Code  
            1170, subd. (a)(1).)

          4)Specifies that in any case in which the punishment prescribed  
            by statute for a person convicted of a public offense is a  
            term of imprisonment in the state prison or a county jail term  
            under Realignment, the court shall sentence the defendant to  
            one of the terms of imprisonment specified unless the  
            convicted person is given any other disposition provided by  
            law, including a fine, jail, probation, or the suspension of  
            imposition or execution of sentence. (Pen. Code 1170, subd.  
            (a)(3).)








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          5)States that when a judgment of imprisonment is to be imposed  
            and the statute specifies three possible terms, the choice of  
            the appropriate term shall rest within the sound discretion of  
            the court. (Pen. Code 1170, subd. (b).)

          6)Species that in determining the appropriate term, the court  
            may consider the record in the case, the probation officer's  
            report, other reports, including reports received, as  
            specified, and statements in aggravation or mitigation  
            submitted by the prosecution, the defendant, or the victim, or  
            the family of the victim if the victim is deceased, and any  
            further evidence introduced at the sentencing hearing. (Pen.  
            Code 1170, subd. (b).)

          7)States that the court shall select the term which, in the  
            court's discretion, best serves the interests of justice.  
            (Pen. Code 1170, subd. (b).)

          8)Provides that the statute authorizing discretion of courts to  
            sentence to different terms remain in effect only until  
            January 1, 2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a  
            later enacted statute, that is enacted before that date,  
            deletes or extends that date. (Pen. Code,  1170, subdivision  
            (i).)

          9)Finds and declares that the provision of probation services is  
            an essential element in the administration of criminal  
            justice. The safety of the public, which shall be a primary  
            goal through the enforcement of court-ordered conditions of  
            probation; the nature of the offense; the interests of  
            justice, including punishment, reintegration of the offender  
            into the community, and enforcement of conditions of  
            probation; the loss to the victim; and the needs of the  
            defendant shall be the primary considerations in the granting  
            of probation. (Pen. Code,  1202.7.)

          10)Specifies that "probation" means "the suspension of the  
            imposition or execution of a sentence and the order of  








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            conditional and revocable release in the community under the  
            supervision of a probation officer." (Pen. Code,  1203(a).) 

          11)Specifies that "conditional sentence" means "the suspension  
            of the imposition or execution of a sentence and the order of  
            revocable release in the community subject to conditions  
            established by the court without the supervision of a  
            probation officer." (Pen. Code,  1203(a).)

          12)Provides that the court, in granting probation, may suspend  
            the imposing or the execution of the sentence and may direct  
            that the suspension may continue for a period of time not  
            exceeding the maximum possible term of the sentence, except as  
            specified, and upon those terms and conditions as it shall  
            determine. (Pen. Code,  1203.1.)

          13)States that the court may impose and require any or all of  
            the terms of imprisonment, fine, and conditions, and other  
            reasonable conditions, as it may determine are fitting and  
            proper to the end that justice may be done and for the  
            rehabilitation of the probationer, and that should the  
            probationer violate any of the terms or conditions imposed by  
            the court in the matter, it shall have authority to modify and  
            change any and all the terms and conditions and to reimprison  
            the probationer in the county jail, as specified. (Pen. Code,  
             1203.1, subd. (j).)



          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown





          COMMENTS:  











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          1)Author's Statement:  According to the author, "The mission of  
            CDCR is to promote public safety. This mission can be  
            accomplished only by providing a safe and constructive prison  
            environment. If offenders are expected to change, and if  
            reductions in recidivism are demanded by policymakers and the  
            public, environments that foster positive and enduring  
            behavioral change among offenders must be created. This cannot  
            be done without skilled, committed and supported staff. 

            "Prisons can be extremely stressful work environments.  
            Correctional fatigue is a very real issue, demonstrated by a  
            high officer suicide rate, alcohol abuse, family strife,  
            physical illness, and professional misconduct. As California's  
            criminal justice systems are retooled to reduce the prison  
            population and increase effective programming for offenders in  
            prison, addressing issues core to the well-being and  
            effectiveness of correctional staff is essential. 
            Staff preparation and training is critically important in  
            creating positive environments for change. Rehabilitation does  
            not happen in a vacuum - it takes staff to make it  
            materialize, not only those who do the programs but those who  
            help create a prison environment conducive to programming and,  
            ultimately, rehabilitation. 

            "SB 1324 institutes a strong and well-defined mission for the  
            California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)  
            and its employees consistent with the goals of promoting  
            public safety through professional staff and a safe and  
            constructive correctional rehabilitation environment. This  
            measure also updates existing law regarding the purpose of  
            imprisonment to include rehabilitation and effective  
            rehabilitation programming."


          2)California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation:  The  
            CDCR is responsible for the incarceration of adult felons,  
            including the provision of training, education, and health  
            care services. As of February 4, 2015, CDCR housed about  
            132,000 adult inmates in the state's prison system. Most of  








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            these inmates are housed in the state's 34 prisons and 43  
            conservation camps. About 15,000 inmates are housed in either  
            in-state or out-of-state contracted prisons. The department  
            also supervises and treats about 44,000 adult parolees and is  
            responsible for the apprehension of those parolees who commit  
            new offenses or parole violations. In addition, about 700  
            juvenile offenders are housed in facilities operated by CDCR's  
            Division of Juvenile Justice, which includes three facilities  
            and one conservation camp. (Legislative Analyst's Office  
            Analysis of the Governor's 2016-17 Proposed Budget.)
          

          3)CDCR and Rehabilitation:  In 2005, the Department of  
            Corrections was changed to the Department of Corrections and  
            Rehabilitation. (Gov. Code,  12838.)   That name change  
            reflected a rededication to the mission of rehabilitation at  
            the state level.  CDCR currently provides a range of  
            rehabilitative services to state prison inmates and parolees.

          The Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP)  is a branch  
            within the California Department of Corrections and  
            Rehabilitation.  DRP describes their role within CDCR as  
            follows:


               Our mission, as part of CDCR, is to help offenders leave  
               prison with better job or career skills, education, life  
               skills, and confidence, so they can succeed in their  
               futures despite past obstacles. To accomplish this, DRP  
               provides numerous rehabilitative programs and services to  
               both prison inmates and parolees. Evidence shows successful  
               rehabilitation is good for communities in a multitude of  
               ways, including a significant reduction in criminal  
               recidivism.   http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/
                
            DRP's rehabilitative programming includes educational  
            opportunities, substance abuse, treatment, and vocational  
            training among a number of other areas.









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          4)The Criminal Justice System Has Increased the Use of Custodial  
            Alternatives in Recent Years to Promote Rehabilitation:  In  
            the wake of prison overcrowding and Criminal Justice  
            Realignment, there has been a focus at every level of the  
            criminal justice system on alternatives to custody and  
            evidence based practices to reduce recidivism.  To that end,  
            criminal courts are incorporating more sentencing options that  
            do not involve custody.  Frequently, such sentencing  
            approaches attempt to address the underlying issues connected  
            to the defendant's criminal behavior.  

          County alternative custody programs can now include newly  
            realigned offenders-non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual  
            (1170h) felons who previously were eligible for prison but now  
            serve all or part of their sentences in county jail. Counties  
            now have the option of placing these 1170h offenders in work  
            release programs, home detention, or electronic monitoring  
            programs at any point during their sentences. Offenders  
            serving local sentences have been eligible for placement in  
            alternative custody programs for years. (Public Policy  
            Institute California, April 2015.)  At the State level, the  
            Governor's recent budgets have included money for programs to  
            reduce recidivism.  Those programs include community reentry  
            programs and expanded substance abuse treatment for inmates in  
            state prison.   
            (  http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2014/budget/three-judge-panel/th 
            ree-judge-panel-022814.aspx  )

          5)Argument in Support:  According to SEIU Local 1000, "In 2005,  
            many of the state's criminal justice programs were reorganized  
            with a greater emphasis given to rehabilitative programs.   
            However, under Section 1170(a)(1) of the Penal Code, the  
            purpose of imprisonment for crime is punishment.  This bill  
            broadens the mission of CDCR to go beyond punishment to also  
            include rehabilitation.

          "Over the past several years, the teachers and librarians, who  
            are members of SEIU and work in the state prisons, have seen  
            the slow evolution of the department back to an earlier era  








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            when rehabilitation was emphasized rather than punishment.  As  
            the prison population stabilizes, there is now greater ability  
            to intervene in an inmate's life and provide needed  
            rehabilitative services.  Over 60% of inmates read at a ninth  
            grade level or below.  Even though recidivism has been shown  
            to be reduced by almost 20% if an inmate has received a job  
            skill that will make him/her employable upon release there are  
            only 8,400 vocation education slots currently available for  
            the nearly 137,000 inmates.  Providing both academic and  
            vocational skills is an important part of rehabilitating an  
            inmate so they can become productive citizens when they  
            reenter society following imprisonment."

          6)Related Legislation: 

             a)   AB 2590 (Weber), finds and declares that the purpose of  
               sentencing is public safety achieved through  
               accountability, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. AB  
               2590 is awaiting a committee hearing in the Senate Public  
               Safety Committee.  

          7)Prior Legislation:  

             a)   SB 463 (Pavley), Chapter 508, Statutes of 2013, extended  
               to January 1, 2017, the provisions of law that provide that  
               the court shall, in its discretion, impose the term or  
               enhancement that best serves the interests of justice.

             b)   AB 1849 (Carter), Legislative Session of 2011-2012,  
               would have authorized the juvenile court of a county to  
               adopt a restorative justice program to address the needs of  
               minors, victims, and the community. AB 1849 was held in the  
               Assembly Appropriations Committee.

             c)   AB 446 (Carter), Legislative Session of 2011-2012, would  
               have authorized a county to adopt a restorative justice  
               program to address the needs of minors, victims, and the  
               community.  AB 446 was vetoed by the governor.









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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:





          Support


          


          California Catholic Conference
          California Public Defenders Association
          SEIU Local 1000



          Opposition


          


          None





          Analysis Prepared by:David Billingsley / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744















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